European movie locations for your next holiday

Zrmanja river, Croatia, European movie locations
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European movie locations for your next holiday! If you’ve ever watched a blockbuster movie on the big screen and wished you were there, taking in the stunning scenery or marvelling at magnificent architecture, then really, what are you waiting for? You may be surprised to learn that the majority of movie locations are easily accessible to the general public, and with relatively little hassle you could find yourself following in the footsteps of your on-screen idols.

But forget the cityscapes of Bruges and Paris, as beautiful as they are, because the originality just isn’t there. These are the tours that everyone does, and they don’t require that much effort either. Instead, to truly discover those inspiring landscapes that had your jaw dropping at the credits, check out these fascinating European locations that can form the backdrop to your next European holiday.

A Room with a view (1986) set in Florence, Italy
A Room with a view (1986) set in Florence, Italy (now a room 414 in Hotel degli Orafi).

European movie locations

1. Meteora, Greece

Perched precariously on top of the rocky Meteora mountains in Thessaly, Greece, are a collection of monasteries which are incredibly difficult to reach. The original 9th Century monks had formed an order by climbing these formidable rock towers and occupying the hollows and tunnels which ran across their surfaces, and it wasn’t for another three thousand years or so before solid structures began to appear.

Named Meteora, meaning ‘In the Heavens Above’, only a handful of the original 24 are still inhabited by monks, and although visitors are welcome, you really do need to put in the effort to get to them. Stone steps and walkways lead intrepid visitors up the edge of uncertain cliffs to get to the buildings atop them.

Fans of the James Bond movies will recognise one of the monasteries, Holy Trinity (which is the least accessible of them all), from the movie For Your Eyes. Whether you manage the climb all the way to the top or not the view from this area is inspiring.

Holy Trinity Monastery, Meteora, Greece, European movie locations
Holy Trinity Monastery, Meteora, Greece, European movie locations by Luc.T

Where to stay while in Greece?

Mykonos Blu, Grecotel - your own pool in a hotel room

What about having your own swimming pool while on your Greece holiday?

Not impossible with Mykonos Blu Grecotel! They have rooms with a pool right in the hotel room!

But here you can expect even more!

2. Marktschellenberg, Germany

Located just south of Salzburg is an open meadow that should be instantly recognisable to fans of the Von Trapp family. It is, of course, the meadow through which Julie Andrews ran and sang with such wanton abandon in The Sound of Music nearly 50 years ago.

The meadow has reportedly changed little in that time, although producers do admit to having added one or two background trees to their shots during production for the effect.

This iconic location is easy to get to and, along with other locations from the film in the neighbouring towns, forms a tour that has quickly become one of the most popular walking holidays in Europe.

Marktschellenberg, Germany, European movie locations
Marktschellenberg, Germany, European movie locations by Eweht

3. Mamores, Scotland

The Mamores isn’t actually a place, but rather a mountain range in the Scottish Highlands. Lying close to the town of Fort William, the Mamores incorporates ten of Scotland’s highest mountains that form a continuous and circuitous route from one to the next.

This is the type of walking that requires specialist gear. So don’t think about hopping up the nearest hill in your trainers when you’re on a day trip to the area.

The height of these mountains makes the weather unpredictable and confusing so experience is essential. If you do fit into this category and you find yourself standing at the top of Stob Ban or Am Bodach, you’ll be following in the footsteps of Mel Gibson’s epic trek as William Wallace in Braveheart.

And while you might not be lucky enough to meet a wild man in a kilt on your holiday, the spectacular view of the surrounding mountaintops should more than make up for it.

Mamores Scotland, European movie locations
Mamores Scotland, European movie locations by john mcsporran

4. Saint-Tropez, France

The Troops of St. Tropez (1964) is the first part of a very successful series of French – Italian comedy films of gendarmes from the 60s, 70s, and 80s of the 20th century.

Who wouldn’t know unforgettable Louis De Funes in these unforgettable series? Energetic but somewhat messy police officer comes from a forgotten village in the mountains right to the French Riviera to restore order here!

Visit Saint-Tropez in French Riviera to see stars or just feel like one!

Saint-Tropez, Gendarmerie, European movie locations
Saint-Tropez, Gendarmerie, European movie locations by zenithe

5. Prague, Czech Republic

Prague is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. No wonder, that in addition to tourists there are also the most respected filmmakers coming here to make even the biggest movies here.

Certainly, the best known and probably also the biggest movie is Mission: Impossible (1996), in which secret agent Tom Cruise hunt for the murderer of several of his colleagues. However, you would probably find tens of other great movies that were set in Prague.

And for better planning of your trip, I prepared a list of Top Things to do in Prague!

Charles bridge in Prague, European movie locations
Charles bridge in Prague, European movie locations by Julius

6. Háj, Slovakia

Háj is a very small village in Slovakia and until recently no one knew about this place. It is situated at the borders of the Slovak Karst National Park and just a few meters above the village are wonderful Hájske waterfalls.

Its main attraction, however, is a giant 10 meters tall statue of Angel which was used in a movie Behind Enemy Lines starring Owen Wilson and Gene Hackman. You should really visit this place, I did! You can find Háj village and its waterfalls among 50+ Best Places to visit in Košice region.

Statue of Angel, Haj, Slovakia, European movie locations
Statue of Angel, Haj, Slovakia, European movie locations by Julius

7. Sicily, Italy

Even the largest island in the Meditteranean Sea often becomes a setting for some good movies! You’ll hardly find someone who wouldn’t hear at least a word about the famous Francis Ford Coppola’s movies about Sicilian Mafia.

Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, James Caan or Robert Duvall are just a few of the stars that starred in The Godfather, one of the most famous film series of all time! But if you really want to enjoy a real Sicilian atmosphere, you have to see other movies, such as Cinema Paradiso (1988), Baarìa (2009), Il Postino: The Postman (1994) or Malèna (2000).

You will probably not want to miss Palermo or Sicilian beaches on your holidays around European filming locations!

Godfather's Bar, Savoca, Sicily, European movie locations
Godfather’s Bar, Savoca, Sicily, European movie locations by michiel mobach

8. Croatia

When hearing the magical name of Apache chief Winnetou, you will immediately imagine great film series made by director Harald Rein from the early 60s. Full of friendship, adventure, fun but also hard life. Even the soundtrack belongs to the most famous in film history.

Not only its main leaders of Winnetou (Pierre Brice) and Old Shatterhand (Lex Braker), but it is also the beautiful scenery that makes these series so amazing and unforgettable. A total of 12 films were set in the magical environment of today’s Croatia. And you can now follow the steps of Winnetou on your Croatian holidays!

You’ll visit Croatian national parks and once here, do not forget to visit also some of the Croatian sights!

Zrmanja river, Croatia, European movie locations
Zrmanja river, Croatia, European movie locations by Danilo Tic

9. Skopelos island, Greece

Skopelos would be just another of many Greek islands if it would not take a part in a musical romantic comedy film Mamma Mia! (2008). I saw that movie with charming Meryl Streep, Amanda Seyfried, Pierce Brosnan or Colin Firth several times and I have to say that the place is nothing but a dream of every traveler.

Skopelos is reportedly the greenest of all the Greek islands. Its majestic cliffs are covered with dense pine forests and what is great on this island is a fact that it doesn’t belong to the most popular destinations among tourists as other Greek locations.

Sunset at Skopelos, Greece, European movie locations
Sunset at Skopelos, Greece, European movie locations by Yorick_R

10. Lake District National Park, England

Take a trip to the highest mountains in England, cool down the feet in sixteen glittering lakes, walk through the deep green valleys, relax on the peaceful beaches! Taste the local beer, typical spiral sausages (Cumberland sausage) and other local products. Lake District has become a culinary destination of England.

It is also one of the most popular National Parks in the UK. Furthermore, its beautiful scenery can be seen in the film Miss Potter (2006) starring Oscar winner Renée Zellweger. You will like a story of children’s book author Beatrix Potter (1866 – 1943) as well as the place where she settled down!

Visit Loughrigg Tarn, Grasmere and Yew Tree Farm. The last one is a historic setting owned by Beatrix Potter where you can even stay overnight!

Loughrigg Tarn, Lake District, UK, European movie locations
Loughrigg Tarn, Lake District, UK, European movie locations by Andrew

So these were just a few of lots of great European filming locations. I’ll be adding more in the future, in the meantime, however, you could suggest some more below in the comments.

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Julius

I am someone who left his open-spaced cubicle after spending there 8 years of his life. Someone who started to live more outside! :) I am in travel blogging since 2010 and with Traveltipy I am going to conquer the world :)

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